West Seattle, Washington
Family and friends are remembering Carla de Vrieze, who died last week at 43, and sharing this announcement with the community:
Carla Y. de Vrieze passed away May 16, 2016, surrounded by her family.
Carla was born October 6, 1972, in the Netherlands. Moving to the US as a young child, she lived with her family in Arlington and Winchester, Massachusetts, attending Winchester High School and High Mowing School in Wilton, NH. After earning her Associate’s Degree from Johnson and Wales University College of Culinary Arts, Carla moved and spent a few years in Chevy Chase, Maryland, before settling in West Seattle, near her brother’s family, in 1999.
Carla’s creativity and passion for the culinary arts were an important part of her personal and professional life; in cooking for others, she found joy. Carla was preceded in death by her father, Theo de Vrieze. She is survived by her mother, Joan de Vrieze, her brother Martin de Vrieze (Heather), and nephew Jake de Vrieze, all of West Seattle. She is also survived by countless aunts, uncles, cousins around the country and the world.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to SANCA, the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, an organization which brings joy and inclusion to so many children of all abilities (674 S. Orcas Street, Seattle 98108 or sancaseattle.org/support/give-today).
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Family and friends will gather June 18th to celebrate the life of Raymond W. Tofteland, who died a week ago. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing now:
Raymond (Ray) Wayne Tofteland died peacefully in his sleep May 8, 2016 in Seattle at the age of 51 from complications of renal disease.
Raymond was born August 7, 1964, in Minot, North Dakota, to Lawrence (Larry) and Eileen Tofteland. His family moved to Seattle in 1968. He attended Arbor Heights Elementary School, Denny Middle School and graduated in 1983 from Rainier Beach High School. He married his high-school sweetheart Melissa Whipple in 1991, and rejoiced when their beloved daughter Ashlee was born in 1994. While Raymond and Melissa divorced in 2005, they remained good friends. As his health declined, he moved in with Melissa and Ashlee, who took care of him.
As a boy, Raymond started earning money by mowing lawns. After graduating, he worked for La Mexicana making tortillas. In 1989 he started working at the Jefferson Square Safeway in West Seattle. Many years later, he transferred to a University District Safeway. He was on medical leave for the past two years, but was a Safeway employee for 27 years.
Raymond loved to fish (especially at Ilwaco), camp, go on road trips and barbecue. He spent many happy hours teaching Ashlee to make a campfire and to fish. He loved hanging out with friends and family around campfires, on his sister’s boat or just at home.
Raymond was preceded in death by his father Lawrence (Larry) Tofteland. Left to mourn are his daughter Ashlee Tofteland; his mother Eileen Tofteland; his ex-wife Melissa Tofteland; his brother Mark Tofteland; his sister Melissa (Missy) Speer-Tofteland; his nephews Gabe, Levi, and Luai; and his nieces Tara, Amanda, Jameila, and Sophia.
Letters of condolence may be sent to the Toftelands at 10441 57th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98178.
A celebration of life will be held June 18th in Olympia. Please call or text 206-913-7148 for more information or check Facebook for the “Celebration of Life for Raymond Tofteland” event.
Raymond’s last wish was for his remains to be taken to North Dakota, where his father is buried. Please consider donating to help make this final trip with his daughter a reality at gofundme.com/raymondtofteland
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
A memorial is planned May 15th for Mike Foster, whose family is sharing this remembrance:
Michael Dale Foster, 62, passed away in his sleep on April 19, 2016. He was born September 28, 1953, in Seattle, the eldest child of Harold and Lorraine Foster. He is survived by his parents; his brother Jeff Foster and niece Amanda; his sister Sue Foster and his nephews Matthew and Mark; and his daughter Kara Foster.
Raised in White Center, Mike attended Holy Family School, Kennedy Catholic High School, and graduated from Chief Sealth High School in 1972. Shortly after high school, Mike went to work in Saudi Arabia for Crowley Maritime. He would talk of that time as one of his greatest adventures.
He married Rebecca Connor in September of 1982 and had a daughter a year later on December 19, 1983. He would say that was his next greatest adventure: Being a dad.
They rented a house in Highland Park, Mike was friends with all his neighbors and would always have a helping hand if needed, working on bicycles, cars, or anything else in his garage. In 1996 he was divorced, but always lived near his daughter and his parents.
He worked for Sears Roebuck as a warehouseman for most of his career and recently retired from Bartell Drugs as a warehouseman.
He loved camping at Lake Trask with his family, he was constantly reading, and he would do anything for his family and friends. With a goofy grin and a big heart, he will be missed by so many.
His memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 15th, from 4-8 pm at the White Center Eagles, located at 10452 15th Ave SW. It will be a potluck event and the family asks that any donations in his name be given to the White Center Eagles.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Family and friends are remembering Lola Sugia Tebelman, who also touched many lives with her music:
Lola Sugia Tebelman, 90, died peacefully April 19, 2016 at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle.
Lola was born July 17, 1925, in Seattle, to Assunta and Philip Sugia. She attended Franklin High School and at an early age began a career as a vocalist in many prominent Northwest bands, orchestras, and jazz combos. (Her 1960 45-rpm record “Blue Tears/ Weathervane” was recorded at the West Seattle home studio of Seattle’s then-top audio engineer, Joe Boles, on Admiral Way in West Seattle.)
In later years, she attended business school and worked at the University of Washington until she retired.
Lola touched many lives with her presence, her creativity, her talent and her love of family. She enjoyed opera, jazz and classical music, fine arts, gardening, Italian cooking, journalism, reading non-fiction, writing plays, stories, and lyrics. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought a special joy to her life!
She is survived by her two daughters, Maia Santell and Pamela Tebelman; her granddaughters, Mikela Aramburu, Gina Aramburu, and Lisa Tebelman; two great-granddaughters; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.
At her request no service will be held. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 97353, Tacoma, WA 98497.
In lieu of flowers, to honor Lola’s end-of life wishes, a memorial-gift donation to Seattle Area Feline Rescue would be a lovely expression, as she was an avid cat lover and animal-rights activist.
Please share memories and condolences on our online guestbook for Lola.
Family and friends will gather this Friday to celebrate the life of Joseph C. Harris. Here’s the remembrance that’s being shared today:
Joseph Claude Harris, age 75, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on April 16th. He is survived by his wife Sue, his children Sean (Courtney Harris-Campf), Colleen, Becky (RJ Masters), Marianne (Patrick McGah), and CJ, 5 granddaughters, and his brother, John Harris.
Joe was born and raised in West Seattle, attended Holy Rosary School, O’Dea High School, and Maryknoll Seminary. He later earned an MBA from City University. Joe and Sue met through their work with the CYO Summer Camps and after their wedding they lived as the caretakers at Camp Cabrini.
Joe was a proud father to his five children, often driving kids around the city for activities, teaching them to play cribbage, and supporting them in their endeavors. He devoted many years of service to the Catholic Church in parish ministry, school and parish finances, and researching demographics of the Church around the country. Joe was a regular volunteer at Holy Rosary, suggesting that Fr. Mallahan start the endowment fund, serving on various committees, and helping with the plans for Lanigan Gym. Joe loved running, biking, hiking, and playing basketball. He will be greatly missed.
The celebration of his life will be at Holy Rosary Church on Friday, April 22nd at 6:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fr. Mallahan Endowment Fund at Holy Rosary School.
A memorial service is planned April 30th for Dr. Catherine Ann Orsi, whose many achievements included serving West Seattle as a naturopathic doctor. Here’s the remembrance family and friends are sharing:
Catherine Ann Orsi passed away peacefully with family by her side on March 14, 2016, after fighting a brave five-year battle with brain cancer.
Conceived in her father’s native homeland of Italy, but born in Corvallis, Oregon on March 9, 1958, she was the first child of Vincenzo and Margaret (Atwood) Orsi. She is survived by her mother, Margaret, her siblings; Lewis, (Kathy), Barbara, and Stephen, her nephew, Nick, her niece, Kate, and her ex-husband, Chelo Winfred Schal. Her beloved father, Vincenzo, preceded her in death in 1972, and her American grandparents Hulda and Harlow Atwood, and her Italian grandparents Luigi and Olimpia Orsi.
Catherine grew up in Albany and Corvallis, Oregon. While attending Oregon State University, she pursued her late father’s profession, and in 1983 received a degree in civil engineering. After graduation she married fellow engineer Phillip Wurst, but were divorced after a few years. Her engineering career started with the U.S. Forest Service in Ashland, Oregon. Later she accepted an engineering position for City Light, in Seattle, working on landfill-closure projects. She was one of the few women in that field at the time.
Through mutual friends, Catherine met and married Chelo Winfred Schal in 1995. They made several trips to Europe visiting his family in Germany, her family in Italy, and explored her maternal roots in Finland. Catherine and Chelo divorced in 2005, but remained lasting friends.
With a lifelong interest in scuba diving, Catherine was a volunteer diver at the Seattle Aquarium for over 18 years. Her other aquatic pursuits included sailing, kayaking, and swimming. She dreamed of becoming a mermaid.
During a period of illness, she became disenfranchised with Western Medicine and sought help through naturopathy. This journey led to her midlife career change. She enrolled at Bastyr University, where she received her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree in 2003. She opened her own practice in her beloved West Seattle, serving many local clients. Catherine maintained her medical practice until being stricken with cancer in the spring of 2011. Many of her clients, business associates, and friends in West Seattle remember her passionate and thorough attention to detail in her practice through her participation in a local chapter of BNI (Business Network International).
Proud of her Italian-American heritage, she obtained dual citizenship, volunteering for many years with the Festa Italiana celebration. She remained active in the Italian-American Association, and was a devoted member of her church, Plymouth United Church of Christ Congregational in Seattle.
After developing cancer and despite significant obstacles, Catherine filled her intervening years with love, many joyful activities, and personal connections with family, friends, clients, including many here in West Seattle. Although she was unable to continue her Naturopathy practice, she forged on with her connection to, and advocacy for a life of healing through support groups, online communities, and friends until her death.
One of her favorite activities was dancing in her many colorful outfits. It was while walking to a dance class on December 22, 2015, when she fell from brain cancer. It is her joyful and passionate pursuit in the beauty of colorful dance, and aquatic life that is how we will remember her. Dancing and grooving at the least provocation.
Her memorial service is planned at 1 pm Saturday, April 30th, at Plymouth United Church of Christ, and is open to the public. In lieu of flowers, her family requests offerings be directed to her remembrance project. People can donate on PayPal using firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail checks to “Catherine Remembrance Project” care of Lew Orsi, 10617 NE 30th Ave, Vancouver, WA 98686
It’s “more than an obituary,” declared the subject line for the e-mail that began, “A neighborhood icon has recently passed away. He (and his huge, friendly dog) always walked the streets and so many people knew him — if not by name — and will miss his presence and be wondering what happened to him.” So this is in memory of North Admiral resident Jake Ellis Couch, gone at 83:
This sad news comes after a very long struggle with health problems that peaked on March 24 when Jake agreed to go to Virginia Mason Hospital. Tests showed massive damage to his heart and other organs from a silent heart attack some time ago. He was able to enjoy a few days visiting with family and friends while receiving excellent care from the hospital staff until his death on April 2.
Jake was from a proud fourth-generation West Seattle family. His great grandmother came north from California in 1902 in a covered wagon and settled on Gatewood Hill. He grew up in the North Admiral neighborhood and attended Lafayette, Madison, and West Seattle High, graduating in 1950 when he volunteered for service in the Korean War. Jake was a devoted family man who worked for Seattle City Light Underground, enjoyed skiing, the cabin he built near Crystal Mountain, the farm in Duvall, wood carving, and socializing with north Admiral neighbors while walking his dog.
We are so grateful to friends and family for concern and support. Your presence in our lives has given us the gift of joyful memories. No flowers please — remembrances can be made to your favorite charity.
Family and friends will gather tomorrow at The Mount to remember Marie Loken. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing:
Our beloved mother Marie M. Loken passed away on March 26, 2016 at the age of 93. She was born on August 22, 1922 in Seattle to Charles and Marie McIntosh. Mom was the eldest of three sisters and spent her youth in Ballard and spent many a Sunday on her grandparents’ farm on Vashon Island. She was a 1941 graduate of Holy Angels High School, where she received a diploma from Holy Angels Academy School of Music in addition to her high school diploma. At 17, Mom could play concert level piano pieces and never lost her love of playing her piano. After high school, she worked at Federal Way High School as a secretary and then worked as a typesetter for Sears Roebuck catalogue department in the old Sears building on 1st Avenue. Shortly before World War II, she met the love of her life, Roger, at a local dance school. They wrote to each other throughout the war, and while he was overseas he asked her to marry him. 69 years later they were still together until his death last year.
She moved to Kettle Falls to help Roger embark on his teaching career. While they were building a house, Marie endured harsh winters and summers raising her babies, all born about a year apart. She returned to Seattle in 1958 and resided in West Seattle for her remaining years. After raising her six children she returned to Sears and worked as a typesetter with the same people that she had worked with when she was 19. Through the years Marie was Roger’s right hand and greatest supporter through his teaching and real estate endeavors. Mom loved to travel and she took trips with her husband and family to Europe and Hawaii and the Oregon Coast. Reading mysteries and watching her classic movies were some of her favorite pastimes. When it came to gardening, she could grow anything from a cutting. In her younger years, she was an avid bowler, bowling a 300 at one point. The last of the great card senders, she maintained correspondence with her friends from Kettle Falls for over 60 years and never let a holiday or birthday go by without sending a card. She was a Red Cross Volunteer and a longtime member of Holy Rosary and Guadalupe parishes.
She is preceded in death by her husband Roger and her grandson Mac Branom. She leaves behind her six children: David Loken of Everett; Joan Perryman of New Mexico; Catherine Hunter of Des Moines, WA; Robert Loken of Seattle; Roberta Jackowski of Seattle; and Karen Coffey of Portland; 10 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Services will be held at 9:30 am on April 7th at Mount St. Vincent Chapel. Graveside services will be held at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Services – West Seattle. Please share memories of Marie on our online guestbook.
The funeral and reception in memory of Mary H. Anderson are planned for April 16th at The Mount. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:
Mary H. Anderson, “Mimi” to her family, was born in Seattle in 1919. She died March 17 at Providence Mt. St. Vincent after a courageous battle with cancer. Mary and her beloved brother Bill, who preceded her in death, grew up in First Hill neighborhood. She attended Holy Names Academy and the Cornish school of the arts.
In 1946, Mary and her husband Frank Novak moved to West Seattle with their new baby Christine. The first thing she did was join Holy Rosary Parish, where she was a member for 70 years.
In 1976, Mimi married her true love Roger Anderson, who had two grown children of his own, Laurienne and Carver Anderson.
Mimi and Rog were married for 30 years and they lived and loved it thoroughly. Together they enjoyed traveling, bridge games, quiet nights reading and watching the ferryboats, family events, his wonderful sense of humor and her fabulous gourmet meals.
Mary leaves behind treasured friends and family, only child Christine Evens, grandsons Patrick and James Allen, Charles Evens (Lanna) and great grandchildren Andrew and Fae. She also leaves her wonderful nephews John and Phil Hendry, great nephew Troy, great nieces Sasha and Shannon and special friend Kathy Oczkewecz who she called her adopted daughter.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to the Providence Mt. St. Vincent Foundation, or her favorite charity National Animal Society.
Funeral mass will be in the Chapel at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle, Saturday, April 16, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. Reception to follow in the dining room, all are welcome. Please share memories of Mimi on our online guestbook.
Friends and relatives are remembering Olga (Mitchell) McEwing, and wanted to share this with the community:
A long-time West Seattle resident, Olga McEwing died peacefully following a short illness on March 10, 2016, at age 96.
Olga was born on February 7, 1920. She emigrated to the United States from England with her parents Joshua and Ellen, and a younger brother, John, in 1927. She was a very generous person and cared a lot for others. She enjoyed music, gardening, and liked making the best pumpkin pies.
She was preceded in death by her husband James McEwing, 1919-1978.
Olga will be missed by The Kenney residents, the Schau and Matalone families, as well as many others, and will remain in our hearts forever.
A memorial gathering for Lorraine Mary DeTonancour Hope is planned on February 27th. Here’s the remembrance that her family is sharing:
Our beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandma and great grandma passed away peacefully at home on February 4th at the age of 87. She is survived by her daughter Judy Maus-Carson (Matt), sons Robert Hope (Lori) and Curtis Hope (Stephanie) and by 7 grandchildren (Jessica & Jon, Andy & Katey, and Kim, Kelli, & Christopher) and 7 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Norman Hope.
Lorraine grew up in Montana, where she was the belle of the ball – Anaconda High’s cheer queen, a softball player, and a National Thespian. After moving to Seattle with her best friend, she met and married the love of her life. “No and Lo” settled in Alki/West Seattle, where they raised their family and remained the rest of their lives.
Mom/Grandma/Lorraine went through life at full speed – she loved singing & dancing, entertaining & cooking, vacationing & sun-tanning, gambling, playing cards & bingo, spoiling her kids & grandkids, cheering for her sports teams, reading & making up words, painting & beach walking… She was happiest when loving on and laughing with family and friends and was fortunate to live much of her life that way.
A short service and reception will be held at Salty’s on Alki on Saturday, February 27th, at 11 am.
A celebration-of-life gathering is planned next month for longtime West Seattleite Amelia “Amy” Beard Walker. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:
Amy went to her rest on February 1, 2016, at Highline Medical Center, at the age of 90.
Born on November 23, 1925, to Charles Grosvenor and Elizabeth Cooper Beard, in Jacksonville, Florida, and graduated from Central High School in Memphis, Tennessee, she married Thomas L. Walker Jr. in 1943, sharing life for 69 years, until his passing in 2012. They lived throughout the United States, wherever his career in aircraft and missile engineering took them. She worked in various public school systems, and completed her working career as the Director of Administrative Services and Assistant to the Executive Director, Goodwill Industries of Seattle.
Amy was active in the West Side Wheelers square dance club, the West Seattle Garden Club, Washington Arboretum, West Seattle Rock and Gem Club, and was a Member/Secretary for Toastmasters of West Seattle. She served on the Executive Board of the West Seattle Daystar Retirement Village and was a Daystar Ambassador, welcoming and assisting new residents. An active member of her church, she served as a reader for the 14th Church of Christ Scientist of West Seattle. She led a pro-active life, touching the lives of so many others in a positive, lasting way.
Amy is survived by her children; Carolyn Gabrio (Bob), Eileen Meling (Lee), Thomas Walker III (Toni), and Lawrence Walker (Rosario); seven grandchildren; Kristin Pottsmith (Chuck), Janice Belding, Jacqueline Walker, Marcella Bolen (Dan), Brian Walker (Andrea), Leah Walker, and Jamison Walker, and five great-grandchildren.
A celebration of her life will be held by her family at Daystar Retirement Village, 2615 SW Barton Street, on March 26th, 2:00 pm; after which a private family scattering of ashes will be conducted. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite Veterans’ charity.
Family and friends will gather later this week in memory of Kay Messina, and are sharing this remembrance now:
Free from the clutches of Alzheimer’s disease, Kay’s spirit is free to soar again.
Born to Leo “Skipper” and Helen Kelly, Katherine Margaret “Kay” was raised as one of seven brothers and sisters in Anaconda, MT. After college, Kay moved to the big city (Seattle) to work as a medical records administrator. There she met the love of her life, Ben Messina. They married in 1963 and had three boys, Michael, Tony, and Mateo.
For the next 53 years, Kay loved, laughed, and sang her way through raising a family, pursuing a career, building lasting friendships, and generally demonstrating how a life well-lived should be. Together with Ben she enjoyed plays, dinners, friends, glasses of wine, and traveling far and wide. Their journeys included exploring their roots in Ireland and Italy, and making trips home to Montana for the annual family gatherings that continue to this day.
Kay raised her boys with love, grace, and good humor. She showed them the power of love in the devotion she and Ben shared, as well as the value of community in the friendships they made, and their 50-year membership with Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. In her career, she worked with health-care facilities around the region, including a long association with Mt. St. Vincent, where she spent her final days in their care.
Kay was fortunate to have married an engineer. As Alzheimer’s progressed, Ben was able to continually develop solutions that would allow to her to remain at home for much longer than most. For that, we are forever grateful. In addition to her family and friends’ memories of her twinkling Irish eyes, Kay leaves behind Ben, her beloved husband of 53 years; sons Michael (Yvette), Tony (Dawn), and Mateo (Tammy); and eight grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Mt. St. Vincent or Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. An evening vigil will be held Thursday 2/11/16 at 7:00, and a funeral mass on Friday 2/12/16 at 11:00, both at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Please visit www.emmickfunerals.com to share your memories of Kay.
Saturday, a gathering is planned to remember 21-year-old Chad Crooks. This is from his family:
Laura and Todd, along with Corey, Macey, and Grady Crooks, write this to share some profoundly sad news with those that have not yet heard. In the early morning hours of Thursday, 21st our sweet, brilliant, gentle giant, Chad Crooks lost his battle with mental illness and with that, we lost him. At 21, he was our oldest son and brother and a blessing to everyone that met him along his path. With everyone around us, we grieve and love and, in time, we will heal.
Even through his recent struggles, Chad remained gentle and kind, but in the end, made a choice to control his destiny. Chad battled a disease that threatened to offer little hope of using his gifts, making them just beyond his grasp. His brilliance was a gift that he hoped would advance the knowledge and understanding of the complexities of our existence and lives on Earth and elsewhere. Our loss is the world’s loss.
This mental health tragedy is not unique to the Crooks family. It is a devastating, cruel affliction that destroys beauty. Like cancer or heart disease, schizophrenia and other types of mental illness have the same impact, often killing with an invisible hand.
A service will be held at our Admiral UCC Church here in West Seattle on February 6th at 2PM with stories, love and refreshments following. The Admiral United Congregational Church of West Seattle is located at 4320 SW Hill Street. Donations designated in Chad’s honor will be gratefully accepted to aid research in the field of schizophrenia and depression, with details available at the Saturday service.
A celebration of life is planned on February 13th for Gary Elliott, whose family is sharing this remembrance:
Gary “G-Man” Lee Elliott, 54, of West Seattle, passed away unexpectedly and much too young, Saturday, January 16, 2016 at his vacation home in Sunset Beach, CA.
Gary is survived by his wife and best friend of 37 years, Camille, daughter Tanya Gardiner, son Terry Elliott, son-in-law Hamilton Gardiner, sister Dee Strecker, brother Steve Elliott, mother/father in-law Jean and Don Duncan, and many loving nephews, nieces and extended family. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Willis and Marie Elliott, and brother, Kevin Elliott. Gary was a loving father, husband, and best friend to all he met.
Gary provided inspirational adventures while working to check items off his bucket list: captaining his Chris Craft yacht, retro motor home trips, leading the Tahuya Parade with his fire truck, riding his Harley at Sturgis, homes at Sunset Beach, Hood Canal and Lake Washington, owning a tractor, the West Seattle Junction Court art piece, and daily hot tub-coffee-walks around the island with Camille.
Gary loved remodeling and fixing his homes (and the homes of his many friends and family) and worked as a painter for his entire life after being given a paintbrush by his father at an early age. He also enjoyed managing the EPM apartments with his kids, traveling, and trying anything once because “Life is full of experiences and they all can’t be good!” Gary was a fun-loving and immensely creative individual, one of the most generous persons you would ever meet, always willing to pick up a tab, and always there to help friends with house projects or whatever else they needed. Gary was most proud of his kids, who will miss him and carry on his inspirational legacy.
A celebration of life will be held at Rainier Golf & Country Club, 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 13, 2016. Gary’s ashes will be laid to rest at two of his favorite homes, Lake Washington and Sunset Beach. Donations in memory of Gary can be made to the West Seattle Fraternal Order of Eagles (Auxiliary #2643), where he was proud to be a long-standing member.
So many knew her as “Nurse Shirley.” Those who knew her as “an incomparable and beloved mother, auntie, and friend” are sharing this remembrance and invitation to tomorrow’s celebration of her life:
Shirley Ann Thomas, 6/22/32-1/7/16
Shirley Thomas might say her job here on Earth was done. She’d run all the “Erins” and “Jillys” on her list, and it was now time for her next big adventure.
Born June 22, 1932 to Alaric and Ellen, and the baby of six spirited Belanger siblings, she came into this world with determination and a mischievous glint in her eye. Destined to love hard and laugh often, her feisty nature was the product of good family genes and an inherently good and decent soul.
Married in 1961 to Earl William Thomas, her greatest joy was their two daughters, Erin and Jill. Her pride in her girls was unrivaled. Her love for them, boundless. No matter how big or small the accomplishment, those girls knew they’d made mom proud.
Shirley was never stingy with her love. Her bond with son-in-law Tom was unbreakable. Her relationships with her siblings, nieces, nephews, and everyone in-between were equally strong. As the generations of kids who came through the doors of the Children’s Clinic of West Seattle knew all too well, you didn’t have to be blood related to be worthy of Nurse Shirley’s love and attention. If you were in the vicinity of her kind heart, you were considered family.
Miss Shirley enjoyed holding court, waving her hands through the air as though playing an imaginary piano, while regaling us with her dry wit and oftentimes jaw-dropping stories. But more than that, she gleaned great pleasure in sitting back and taking in the family and friends who had surrounded her for the precious decades she’d blessed us all with. She was the grand dame of her neighborhood, and it was a rare occasion to find her home alone. Kelly and Bob, Darlene and Dan, Julie and Terry, she loved you so! Shirley never had a bad day.
Shirley is survived by her two loving daughters, Erin and Jill, her son-in-law Tom, and so many family members, friends, and adoring fans, there isn’t a newspaper or website large enough to name them all. And while she would admonish us with a swipe of those hands for grieving her passing, there are simply no words to describe our loss. Our comfort is knowing we all carry a piece of her joyous spirit inside us. We see it in the mirror every day, and in the mischievous grins of our children, to be passed on for generations to come.
Please join us in celebrating the life of an incomparable and beloved mother, auntie, and friend at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on January 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm – followed by a festival of family, friends, and food at her home. She wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Family and friends of Donald K. Atwood, who died in November at 64, are gathering for an open-house event this Saturday, and sharing this remembrance now:
Don, a lifelong resident of West Seattle, passed away peacefully on November 24th, 2015, in Seattle.
After attending West Seattle High School, Don later went on to work for Frasier Boiler for many years. He would later leave Frasier Boiler to pursue the challenge and reward of owning his own business. A pioneer in the field, Emergency Preparedness Service would go on to meet the disaster-preparedness needs of numerous prominent governmental and private organizations for 26 years. For those who knew Don well, he navigated life with a comical sarcasm and simultaneously was an altogether decent man and fair and honest businessman.
Don, the son of Cliff “Bud” and Penny Atwood, loved the camping trips from his childhood and would later pass this legacy on to his children and subsequently his grandchildren. He always had the heart of an explorer, taking his family on incredible road trips across the Western US and throughout the northern plains. Don was often compelled to visit the roads that were literally “less traveled” to find the forgotten places and muse over the way things might have been for the early settlers of the west.
He married his wife Helga in 1972 and later raised two boys, Neil and Randy. He spent many of his last days thinking about his wife and family and trying to prepare his family for a life without him. In September of 2015, despite his failing health, Don, accompanied by his wife, sons, daughters in-law, and grandchildren would embark on his requiem road trip of sorts to Yellowstone. While there, he seemed to find a closure and began to write his final chapter in life. He was able to share a place he loved with those who loved him most. His short bout with cancer would end soon thereafter, but he left this present world with a late-blooming faith that would comfort him in his final days.
On Saturday, January 23rd, Helga and family will be hosting an open house at Don’s West Seattle home for family and friends to come by anytime between 1 pm and 5 pm. If you would like further information or directions, please contact the family at DonAtwoodMemorial@gmail.com.
A memorial service is planned Monday at Holy Rosary for Eugene Kord, whose family is sharing this remembrance:
Eugene Thomas Kord was born July 9, 1931, in Tacoma, the second child born to Alice and Leo Kord. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother Richard Kord and is survived by his wife, Virginia Kord, and their children: Cathy Peda, Lori Clark, Mary Ballanger, Margie McGillis, and Mike Kord.
Gene moved with his family to West Seattle when he was a toddler and attended Holy Rosary Elementary School. He went on to graduate from O’Dea High School in 1949 and Seattle University in 1953. He was a dual-major: Business Marketing and Education.
Gene enlisted in the United State Army during the Korean War, which ended around the time he was shipped overseas. Among his duties was teaching basic courses to young soldiers, helping them to earn their GEDs. After his tour of duty, Gene took a job with the United States Department of Labor.
In 1958, Gene married Virginia Trautmann. The newlyweds settled into a small, one-bedroom apartment near Lincoln Park. Less than a year later, Gene and Virginia moved to Tacoma, where the first of five children, Catherine Anne, was born in 1959. Two more daughters followed shortly thereafter: Lori Marie in 1961 and Mary Ellen in 1962. All were born at St. Joseph’s Hospital—like their father.
Gene’s work then took the family to Spokane. With three daughters already in tow, the next two children to join the family, Marjorie Jean and Michael Eugene, were born in 1963 and 1969, respectively. While in Spokane, Gene also became one of the first-ever lay lectors at Assumption Church. In 1973, the Kords moved back to West Seattle, where Gene continued to work for the Department of Labor. In 1988, he retired as the Area Director of the Wage and Hour Division with more than 30 years of service.
Retirement brought the opportunity to embark on a passion close to Gene’s heart: volunteer work. A devout Catholic, Gene volunteered for St. Vincent de Paul, tutored children at local grade schools, served on parish councils and school boards, taught religious education—and even served as a probation officer.
All the while, Gene’s passion for God, family, reading, and sports never wavered. He attended mass almost daily. By the mid-2000s, the family had grown to include four sons-in law, a daughter-in law, and 12 wonderful grandchildren, and Gene never missed an opportunity to join the numerous family gatherings. Gene was also an avid reader who enjoyed the morning paper and books and magazines after dinner–unless there was a baseball game on TV. Gene’s interest in baseball grew as a young boy in the post-Depression-Era, following the local legends of the Seattle Rainiers. This passion continued for many years as a Seattle Mariners fan, and those who knew Gene are well aware that idle conversation was frowned upon when the ball was in play. As a young man, he enjoyed playing in a Spokane-area bowling league and golfing at local courses—never mind that uncontrollable slice. Later in life, Gene and Virginia took to playing bridge with friends, traveling to Spring Training, and let’s not forget the nightly walks with the family dog, Heidi.
Gene is remembered as a quiet, dignified man who always carried himself with nobility. In the mid 2000s, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Holy Rosary Elementary School. He was empathetic and a great listener. His love for wife Virginia was constant.
Funeral services will be held Monday, January 11, at 11 am at Holy Rosary Church in West Seattle. A reception will follow immediately after. A burial service is scheduled for 3 pm at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery (205 NE 205th St., Shoreline). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Holy Rosary St. Vincent de Paul or the Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation.
You’ll find Mr. Kord’s online guestbook at emmickfunerals.com.
Family and friends will gather on Sunday to celebrate the life of Margaret “Margy” Fitzpatrick. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing:
Margaret Ann (Hull) Fitzpatrick
Margy passed away on December 23, 2015, age 68, following a courageous battle with melanoma. Her tenacity and positive attitude throughout her illness were inspirational to those around her.
A native Seattleite, Margy attended Holy Names Academy and earned a BA in nutrition from Fort Wright College. Her company, Fitzpatrick’s Interiors and Upholstery, has been an established and very successful business in West Seattle for more than 40 years, and will continue to operate under the leadership of her daughter Tricia.
Margy was an avid skier, swimmer, and triathlete who loved the opera and Bernese Mountain Dogs. She was always looking for the next exciting life experience, and took full advantage of all opportunities presented to her. She is survived by her brother Bob (Lou) Hull; sister Kathy (Ron) Coulter; her four children, Bill (Christine), Tricia, Bridgett, John; grandson Spencer; dog Annie and cat Ally.
There will be a celebration of Margy’s life on Sunday, January 3. For more information, please contact Tricia Fitzpatrick, email@example.com. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to Holy Names Academy Class of 1965 Endowment, 728 21st Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98112.
(2008 photo of Dave Henderson @ West Seattle Little League Jamboree, courtesy Cami MacNamara)
Fans, friends, family, and neighbors are mourning Dave Henderson, who has died at just 57 years old. The photo above is courtesy of Cami MacNamara, one of the WSB’ers who reminded us that Mr. Henderson lived in the Alki area. His baseball career was multifaceted, spent with five Major League Baseball teams including the Mariners, for whom he worked as a broadcaster for almost a decade – 1997 through 2006 – after his career as a player concluded. He was well-known for his ever-present smile and for his generous gifts of time, expertise, and more, particularly for youth – Cami’s photo is from one of the occasions when Mr. Henderson collaborated with the West Seattle Little League – he threw out the first WSLL Jamboree pitch in 2008. He’s also in archived coverage of events including a benefit tournament at West Seattle Golf Course. Mr. Henderson’s peak career moments included what the MLB.com report on his passing describes as a “series-changing home run” in the 1986 American League Championship Series, when he belted a ninth-inning home run that saved the Boston Red Sox from elimination – they went on to beat the Angels and win the league championship. Mr. Henderson, nicknamed “Hendu,” went to the World Series with the Oakland A’s in 1988, 1989, and 1990, and to the MLB All-Star Game in 1991. According to The Seattle Times, Mr. Henderson died early today at Harborview Medical Center; he was taken there after suffering a heart attack at his West Seattle home. He is reported to have had a kidney transplant a month ago. No word yet on memorial-service plans; many are sharing condolences, including the M’s:
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Dave Henderson. Our deepest sympathies to his family and many friends. pic.twitter.com/dVSa8yStsb
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) December 27, 2015
Family and friends will gather on Monday (December 7th) to remember Anthony C. “Tony” O’Keefe. Here’s the remembrance they are sharing:
Smiling, laughing, and with twinkling Irish eyes … that is how Tony came into this world on September 8, 1969. He and wife Linda shared 13 years of marriage, and their love shows through their daughter Lauren and son Conner. They were his love and joy and he was incredibly proud of them. Lauren and Conner’s love of life, huge hearts, and shining souls resonate with Tony’s warmth and perpetual desire to share the very best of himself with the ones he most dearly loved.
Tony’s constant search for fun in life took him from learning to roller skate for a pack of LifeSavers, to riding BMX bikes, to competing in wrestling and football, to bringing friends together to celebrate just being in each other’s company.
Tony graduated from Bellarmine High and WSU with a degree in Marketing, and while at college found another family. His brothers at Beta Theta Pi lifted him up and joined in his celebration of life. Through the years they have always been there for him.
His Irish gift of gab, his smarts, and quick wit saw him excel in medical sales after starting Orthocon, Inc. He connected with and was supported by many professionals from the medical community during that time.
Linda, Lauren, and Conner continue to honor his zest for life by bringing laughter and cheer to family and friends. Brother John and sisters Helen, Kathy, and Bebo continue to celebrate life in his name as he joins his parents Tony, Sr. and Kathleen in a warm, heavenly embrace.
Tony took great pride and joy in his Irish heritage. His twinkling eyes and deep belly laugh were the trademark of our Irish leprechaun. So today go forward in honor of Tony, raise a little mischief, and carpe diem!
Tony was passionate about his children’s education, and an Educational Fund for them has been set up at youcaring.com/lauren-conner-o-keefe-478592.
A funeral mass will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, December 7, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 7000 35th Ave SW. Reception immediately following on site at the Parish Life Center.
A memorial service is planned at The Mount this Saturday for Gilbert “Gil” Madrid, who died the day before Thanksgiving. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing:
Gilbert Benedetto Antonio Madrid, 85, passed away on November 25, 2015, at European Senior Care in Seattle.
He was born on March 21, 1930 in Seattle to Julio and Norina Aquino Madrid. Gil grew up in Seattle, then attended St. Martin’s High School in Olympia, St. Bonaventure University in New York, and graduated from Gonzaga University in Spokane. Gil was also a proud US Marine who served in the Korean War.
Gil is survived by his former wife Gail Madrid; his sister Elvira Madrid; his son John (Kate) Madrid; his daughters Christine (Steve) Wynecoop, Katie (Tom) Cunningham, and Terese (Adam) Kietzer; and his grandchildren Katelyn, Emily, Ally, Kara, Meg, Cami, Caroline, Will, and Cooper “Coopies.”
A memorial service will be held at Providence Mount St. Vincent, 4831 35th Ave SW, at 10 am on Saturday, December 5th. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Humane Society to honor Gil’s love of animals. Please share memories of Gil on our online guestbook @ www.emmickfunerals.com.